Wider curriculum opportunities & cultural capital
Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes an extensive programme of after school clubs, that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as clarinet, archery and fine art, whilst also extending the range of experiences (cultural capital). A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, ensure a rich vocabulary and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children's learning wherever possible. These include:
Whole School Theme Day/Weeks
Throughout the year, themed days/weeks are woven into the curriculum to extend the breadth and balance of opportunities we offer our children and to help to immerse them into an experience. These include, Anti-bullying week, Creative Arts Week, World Book Day, Sports and Health Week, Mini Enterprise Week, Science Day, Cultural Day, WWII Week, Community Day, RE Days and others.
Big Question Fortnight
On an annual basis, children across the school engage in a whole school enquiry-based learning experience which is driven by a process of discovery and enquiry. This provides an exciting opportunity for children to explore, develop and acquire new skills in a direction in which they are interested. Research shows that children from the whole spectrum of abilities find learning in this way to be fun and motivating, and outcomes are positive for every child. This is our experience at Lawn Primary; children tell us they value the opportunity to lead their own learning.
Children are introduced to the Big Question in an assembly and then classes brainstorm and discuss their ideas; Big questions are developed within classes and with their teacher children agree a common theme to lead their Big Question Enquiry Project. Children then decide independently or as a group, ways in which they can research their questions and present their findings.
Forest School & Outdoor Learning
Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long-term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. We currently have two teachers training to deliver the Forest Schools programme.
Forest schools is offered to our EYFS and Year 1 children, but we intend to role this out to the other year groups in due course. Currently we offer Forest Schools to Y2-Y6 as an after-school club. Sessions are designed around the needs of the group to ensure that they are learner-led. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered, in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
We are an Eco-school and value the benefits of outdoor learning. Children are stimulated by the outdoors where they can undertake a range of practical activities to support and enhance learning across the curriculum. Our Each class also benefit from tending their own growing beds to produce fruit and vegetables to use in cooking activities.
Further up the school, opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to continue learning beyond the classroom including undertaking fieldwork and enquiry based work in the local area.
Educational Visits and Residentials
School trips and visits are an integral part of the education of children at Lawn Primary. We value the opportunities such visits offer our children and the commitment of staff and adults undertaking them. Trips include class visits aimed at bringing learning alive and providing first hand experience; extra curricular outings such as activities with the school choir or sporting events; and attending or taking part in performances or competitions.
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 take part in residential visits. These are planned to provide new and exciting experiences. Year 3 have the opportunity to camp out over night within the school grounds. It gives children the opportunity to spend a night away from home, but in a familiar place. Year 4 then spend the night at Boar Place, Kent, which gives them the opportunity to work on a farm, gather crops, cook what has been gathered and also experience bush crafts. Year 5 go to Grosvenor Hall, Kent, for 2 nights of team building excitement. Year 6 go to Windmill Hill, Sussex for a 3 night stay of thrill seeking, team building fun.
Visitors onto school
Visitors have a valuable role to play and can contribute to many aspects of the life and work of the school. They deliver talks, workshops and full day activities across a wide range of subjects, giving children access to outside experiences and expertise. Visitors provide a link with the wider community - children have the opportunity to work alongside artists, musicians, authors, health professions and others.
Termly STEAM presentations introduce children to the world of work, develop career-related learning and breakdown gender stereotypes. Presentations introduce children to different career options and aim to increase aspirations while also raising self-esteem and breaking down barriers. Talks are wide ranging reflecting different employment sectors and delivered by both men and women.
As a school we offer children opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities after school. At any time, a wide range of clubs is on offer - our programmes of clubs and activities available is revised termly depending on the time of year and other commitments children may have.
PE & Sport
At Lawn Primary we are using our PE & Sports Premium to improve the provision and resources we have in school. Teachers have regular training sessions with our Sports Partnership. We have had a coach in to teach dance.
In the summer term we reviewed the schools approach to swimming lessons. This year children in Year 4 will benefit from a whole term swimming in the spring, with lessons lengthening to 1hr. Year 6 will have lessons in the summer term.
During the summer term we hold a week of sport which culminates in sports day. Every 4 years to coincide with the Olympic Games we hold a much bigger two week sporting event.
Music, Art & Drama
Lawn Primary School provides opportunities for children to take part in a wide range of musical activities and performances where they are encouraged to sing, compose and work creatively with sound. Through active listening, children's awareness, understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of music are developed. A range of opportunities are provided within and beyond the curriculum for children to showcase their musical skills and talents, for example every two years our choir take part in Young Voices where school choirs across the South East of England come together to perform at the 02 Arena in London. Visits to the theatre further enriches children's cultural development.
Art is developed throughout the school with the use of art portfolios, which move with the children through the school. We run an art competition at the beginning of every year and the winners from each class get their work framed and displayed in our entrance corridor. We also have a creative arts week when children are encouraged by a visiting artist.
As a school we appreciate and understand the importance of drama within our curriculum. Research reveals that drama has a positive impact on children's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. Drama is developed across the school in a variety of ways, including story-telling.
Opportunities to Volunteer
Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. At Lawn Primary we promote and encourage children's active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for children to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our School Council, Eco Warriors, E-safety Team, PE & Sport and Rights Respecting Committee. Older children can also apply and be interviewed for positions such as Playground Leaders and Librarians, and within classes children can volunteer to take on various responsibilities ranging from lunch duties, to collecting and distributing registers, to helping with the organisation of equipment in assemblies.
A rounded programme of daily assemblies helps to promote children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance on what is right and what is wrong. Assemblies also celebrate the religious festivals from all faiths that happen throughout the year. We also have Harvest Celebration, Easter Celebration and Christmas Celebration at St Botolph's Church. We hold celebration assemblies once a week and The Family Trust, a local children's Christian Charity, run an enthusiastic assembly each term. Once a term, specialist STEAM assemblies are held to inspire children and raise their aspirations about potential careers for the future.
Homework can make an important contribution to a child's progress at school. As well as reinforcing learning in the classroom, homework helps children to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful independent lifelong learning.
Homework is set in-line with the school's policy, with tasks planned to appropriately challenge all children. Weekly activities focus on literacy and numeracy to reinforce and consolidate skills taught. Often whole-school homework is set which provides an opportunity for children to think creatively and produce their own form of response for example a model piece of art work, a project, an IT presentation, a recount following a family visit.